Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mrs. Laureen Harper today welcomed Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the Fort York Armoury in Toronto for an event honouring the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and the historic 200thAnniversary of the War of 1812. Also in attendance were Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and General Walter Natynczyk, Chief of Defence Staff.
“Laureen and I are honoured to welcome Their Royal Highnesses here in Toronto as a part of their Royal Tour of Canada in celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee,” said the Prime Minister. “Today’s events honour the thirty-one current regiments in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada that trace their origins to the War of 1812, and their First Nation and Métis allies who joined in the fight for Canada.”
In commemoration of the War of 1812, the four Canadian Army regiments with links to the Battalion of Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada, which played a major role in the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, will now perpetuate the Battle Honour NIAGARA, originally granted to the Militia after the War of 1812. These Canadian Army regiments are the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, the Queen’s York Rangers, the Brockville Rifles and the Princess of Wales Own Regiment.
Furthermore, a commemorative medallion was also unveiled which will be awarded to First Nation and Métis allies without whose contributions Canada could not have been successfully defended.
Lastly, a commemorative banner was unveiled that can be awarded to any Canadian Armed Forces unit or First Nation and Métis communities that wishes to honour their War of 1812 history and heritage. This banner was presented in the presence of His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, and in front of representatives from Canadian Army regiments linked to the War of 1812 and their First Nations and Métis allies.
“As Canadians we recognize the significant role that those early Canadians of all backgrounds, languages and ethnicities played in defending Canada. Without their sacrifice, Canada could not have emerged as an independent nation in North America,” said the Prime Minister. “I encourage all Canadians to participate in a War of 1812 commemorative event in the coming months and to recognize this important event in our history.”
For more information on the Commemorative War of 1812 Medal for Aboriginal Canadians, please visit http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1337707202228